Monday, April 18, 2016

10 weeks old, 13 pounds and flying time.

It's hard to know where to start this update; so much has happened in the last month and more is coming. First off I must say that we are completely and totally head over heals in love with our son! He is SO amazing and such an incredible blessing to our family. To think at one point we didn't want kids?! I guess that's one way to accept that you can't have them, or at least think you can't. Gage is doing so well! He has been expressive and smiling since birth, but in the last month, oh my goodness what a happy baby! I feel like in the last 5 weeks, I've figured out my parenting style and been reassured that what we're doing is good. The last time I wrote I was feeling unsure of myself and a bit emotional, probably normal for a postpartum woman. I was also really anxious because I was dreading the time when maternity leave would be up and I'd have to return to work. I must say 7 weeks of maternity leave is not enough for any parent, but unfortunately for most it's not paid and we're obligated to return. During pregnancy I thought I'd be ready to return to work after 6 weeks and I most certainly didn't think it would be as hard as it was to do so. When 6 weeks started rolling around I understood why everyone around me was taking months off and was wishing I was the ladies taking 3-5 months off. I returned to an unfamiliar classroom, with all new students and staff (to me), 7 weeks after Gage was born and the day after flying home from our trip to Nevada.

I was not ready to return, but I wanted to do my friend a favor and we could use the money and experience. So with 2 months left in the school year, I took over the transition classroom for adults transitioning from high school to work and community life. The first few days I managed to keep it together, although I was quite overwhelmed and missing Gage horribly. I was still able to see and nurse Gage at lunch though because he was with John at his work, which was closer than home. John's mom, Robin, flew in to town over the weekend and has been a great help since. However that first Monday was the first day Gage spent without mom and dad, plus I happened to forget my cups for my pump so it was the tipping point for me and I lost it. I was already late to work but I continued to cry when I got there and just stayed in my car for a bit. I know it was obvious that I had been crying, but everyone was polite enough to ignore it. I struggled all day and later I had an appointment with one of my midwives which should have only lasted an hour, but it ended up lasting at least 2 because I fell apart in her office. Fortunately she's amazing and just let me talk while she listened. When I got home Gage was still struggling a bit and I anxiously grabbed him. He instantly settled down and we comforted each other, confirming that our first 7 weeks together were great times of bonding. Now two weeks later I've managed to get more comfortable in the class and have a pretty good handle on things, for a sub anyway. Friday was a great day because we made our first meal since we started talking about healthy foods, then we walked to a local place for lunch and John, Robin, and Gage met us there, and then the whole class went to the pool and I was able to show a few students, who haven't cared for it, some more things to make swimming fun. They were sore and happy so I'm happy with that.

While work has gotten easier for me, a big reason I've felt better leaving each day while Gage is so young, is because John is no longer working. I felt that Gage needed one of us home for these first few weeks plus we have a lot to do so having John home has been a major stress relief for me. John gave about a month notice, but they found replacements for him quicker than we expected so he was able to leave just a few days later. Gage has really enjoyed having daddy home, while he gets to know his grandma more and now he loves having both of them around all of the time. John enjoys being a stay at home dad and is much more energized with Gage each day, since he doesn't have work to tire him out. Since he got zero days of paternity leave, he never really had a chance to transition into parenthood so the last few weeks have been great bonding time for my boys. It's still been nice to have Robin here so that Gage can get to know her and help out with miscellaneous things since I'm at work.

Other adjustments have included exercise, getting the dogs out, cooking, and cleaning. It's been much harder to get in vigorous exercise, but since I have been cleared (and feel up to) do more than walk we have been making an effort to do so. Swimming has been really hard to get to because of its inconvenience, so I haven't made it to the pool (outside of work) since we got back from Nevada but I'm continuously trying. I planned on going to water aerobics last week, but it hasn't panned out yet. I will get back there so I'll keep trying. We've started to run again, although it hasn't exactly been fun because I haven't done so since we found out we were pregnant. It is convenient though and we're able to take the dogs so we're continuing to do so. It's starting to feel better, it'll just take some time to get back into running shape and we're looking forward to being able to go run a 5k at the drop of a hat and bring Gage along for the ride! For the most part I continue to walk daily and do yoga. They're both convenient and always feel good, even on a rainy day, early in the morning, or after long day of work. I'm still recovering just a little so it's nice to be completely comfortable, which is why I want to get to the pool so bad, comfortable and a great workout! Getting the dogs out for long walks has also been a challenge, but we're still managing to do so about 3-4 times a week. They get out every day, but sometimes it's just running around out front playing ball, snooping and chasing John's RC car lol. They have gotten use to Gage and enjoy being around him, especially if it's outside ;) Having John home and Robin here has really helped to keep things sanitary, which is all we really care about right now. We've never been good about keeping our place super clean so adding a baby only makes it harder, but it's not gross and it smells fine (even without candles) so what more can we ask for? Robin has been really helpful for making meals. She's made some dinners for us and helped watch Gage while we cook. We're still not exempt from frozen meals, but we try to make things as fresh as much as we can. My crockpot is still my favorite kitchen item; tonight's dinner is chicken pot pie soup and rolls. Speaking of rolls...
The main big thing that has happened during Gage's second month of life, besides work adjustments, was our trip to Nevada. It was Gage's first airplane ride and he did great both to and from Reno. He slept through half of the take offs and nursed through the others. I wore him in the wrap throughout the airport and plane so getting places wasn't much more stressful than usual, thank goodness cause flying is stressful enough on its own. Security was ten times easier with a baby, they didn't even scan me or pat me down, which begs the questions, what's the point? We were fortunate enough to have a happy and relaxed 7 week old baby who never got upset other than for normal reasons. Thank goodness! Once we got to Nevada, EVERYONE was very anxious and happy to meet Gage. He got to meet his Grandpa Robert Gage, whom he's named after, Grandma Robin and Grandpa Hal, his great Grandparents and all of his cousins, aunties and uncles, as well as some family friends. Gage loved meeting everyone, especially his cousins. All of the cousins were excited to play with Gage, they all had a great time interacting with their baby cousin and made comments about wanting a baby brother :) We enjoyed the warm weather and sunlight that we often don't see in Juneau. We even got out to the outdoor pool and swam laps, which felt AMAZING, spent time at the park, and walked in summer gear. Let's not talk about the long walk in the snow a few days later ;) It was so great to see my sisters and catch up with them and their families as well as my grandparents. We're looking forward to returning next summer to run the Rubicon and play at Lake Tahoe.

While we were in Nevada John was able to bless Gage at my parents church on Easter morning. I felt so blessed to have both of our dad's, my grandpa, and two long time family friends, who have known John and I since we were kids, participate in Gage's blessing. John gave a beautiful blessing and afterwards my dad gave a beautiful talk to the congregation. Mom and dad didn't tell us he was speaking, so it was a nice surprise. Gage has done great at church so far.

Gage is getting SO Big! Friday he turned 10 weeks old and yesterday we weighed him in at 13lbs 9oz. He's a very healthy boy! Nursing is still going great and Gage is a good burper and farter. We laugh out loud all the time at Gage's grunts and farts. Seriously this kid can belt em, I've never heard a baby fart so loud. John and I often look at each other and ask "was that you or him?". It's quite funny and we like that he's not backed up. He's holding his head up for minutes at a time without support and often. In fact when Gage is awake he does not like to chill. He likes to be up and busy engaged in something. He loves back time while looking outside or his mirror and overhang toys. He'll do this for about 15-20 minutes now or even longer if we lie next to him and talk. He enjoys belly time when he's feeling good and will do it for over 5 minutes if he's having fun. Sometimes he tolerates it and other times he wants nothing to do with belly time. When he enjoys belly time he's very cute smiling, hand in his mouth, looking around, and trying to move. Gage can already lift his head for a few seconds and is starting to turn it to the side when he's on his belly. He's also moving his legs more and more, trying to crawl. Recently he's managed to get his legs up under him more and even give a slight push. Early crawler maybe? Gage also loves to spend time looking at books and being read too. He doesn't care when or where. We read to him during the day sitting up or sometimes I'll lay down with him and read on our backs. Today during church he started to fuss and we brought out the hungry caterpillar and he was instantly engaged and soothed. His book stash continues to grow, I found some cute kid yoga books the other day and Robin got him an animal book. I love that books do this for him and hope that it keeps up in our uber technology world. We also read before bedtime if he's awake still. It doesn't matter how or where we do it, Gage loves books. 
Recently Gage started sleeping for hours at a time and only getting up about twice every night. He loves to cuddle with us and we all keep each other warm. I'm not holding my breath because I know teething and other phases will wake him, but for now we're enjoying it. His process of waking up is still amusing, full of grunts, stretching and farting all while his eyes are closed and for about 20-45 minutes.   

Going outside is so fun with Gage, he loves to go for walks with us and the dogs and check everything out. The fresh air has been so great for all of us. I try to get Gage out a little each day, even if it's just to check the mail and let the dogs out for a few. Sometimes I take him out just to sooth him. Just like his parents, Gage likes the outdoors. We took him on his first trip to the glacier and he loved it. He relaxed and slept for part of it, but most of it he was up, watching the critters and dogs, and chatting. Gage has been talking so much! His cooing is so adorable! He loves to be part of our conversations and have conversations with us. We'll be talking and he'll just chime in. We talk to him all of the time and he'll just coo back. This will go on for minutes and is so cute. He talks to John more, but he has more interesting things to say for a little boy. Gage absolutely adores his dad! He smiles and starts cooing the instant he sees John. His eyes follows John when he's walking around the house. John is such an amazing dad! I have the two most amazing men who make me happier than anything else can.  

To conclude all I can say is that time is flying by WAY too fast and Gage is growing right in front of our eyes. So Much! We have had multiple conversations with him, telling him to stop growing but he just won't listen. The boy is already misbehaving ;) I feel better knowing that when I'm not at work, 110% of my attention goes to my family and we have so much fun together! Gage still likes to see me, which I was honestly worried about when I returned to work, so I feel much relief and excitement each time I come home. Until next time,
Love the Klein's 
John, Emily, Gage, TJ, Mili, and Ammo